So I was excited in my previous post and I assure you it gets even better!
First let me react on the statement from Eric. Yes there are issues in this release but keep in mind that this is a (non public) Beta release. This release is not intended to use in a production environment. So if you could get your hands on the bits please don’t try this at home 🙂 You definitely need a lot off experience not only on the individual components like the AD, Exchange and (MPS is my middle name) the core component the Provisioning System. So yes we had issues but we managed to figure out most of them due to the knowledge we gained in previous releases.
This Beta release is intended to filter out bugs and errors, both in the binary’s as in the documentation. Let me express my respect for the people that composed the documentation! When you create the documentation on environments this complex in the very very granular way that the team did is unbelievable.
So the general idea of Beta testing is to report issues as you stumble on them 😉 The Info Support Hosting Tech Team (hmmm does that sounds like a t-shirt) is investing a lot of time in this release, we believe in the potential of HMC 4.x. And as always the knife cuts on both ends. Today I send an e-mail to a sheep that left the flock and returned to the Hosting Community. In that e-mail a used an old saying that reflects to the affords of the ISTT (yes Info Support Tech Team).
” It is the generous giving of ourselves that produces the generous harvest that we need to allows us to feed our children and smoke Cuban cigars”. Personally I would like to ad Budweiser to that.
By the way I always order my Cubans in Hong Kong, saves you a serious buck.
So far the commercials (just kidding).
Let me just show you some of the screens that I shot from the Exchange 2007 part of this Hosted Messaging and Collaboration version. Again it is Beta so at this point it only supports the e-mail functionality and no fancy UM stuff.
Again in Beta releases (if you are a tester) you should approach things a little different. So we locked ourselves in and decided to build 3 different setups. One with Local Continues Replication on Exchange 2007 another with CCR and one with na Clustered Mailbox server. So within this approach you can share a lot of knowledge between each other in a relatively short period of time (Info Support held’s high on sharing knowledge between colleagues). The side effect is that you are very focused on your setup to outperformed the ‘others’.
To wrap up what we managed to to in these 4 days, basically build HMC 4.0 (Beta Build 2) in 3 different architectures.
– Does it work? Yes.
– Does it need work? Yes.
– Sounds and feel promising? Whiteout a question.
So on to the Exchange 2007 part, let me show you some screens. Uhh, first let my explain what you are about to see. As business men (whoeps persons) you know the difference between Business Organizations and Consumers don’t you? HMC 4.0 (as previous releases) lets you serve both. In the following screens you will see a Consumer User. Just to be sure, you can compare a Consumer user with a HotMail (or Gmail) user. So they default to your SMTP domain and you can upsell them to a vanity domain.
One other thing that you should keep in mind, it is very easy to create different plans (thus offerings) but in the end of the month they need top be reported to SPLA or HVS. . . . . . . . .
So pay attention on the number of actions it takes to enable a user! Just sit back and count the number of steps you need. No offence. React? firstname.lastname@example.org
HMC 4.0 (as previous versions as well as WBH (Windows Based Hosting)) offers delegated administration out of the box. From the same Control Panel ((that offers ASP Dot.net 2.0 Forms Based Authentication) based on your credentials you can easily create, modify or delete users. However you would
probably start with assigning some sort of Business offering to this Organization. In this demo I use a Platinum Plan.
Here I just assigned a plan (that should reflect one of your Business offers, MAPI, 1Gb, etc) to this organization. Yes, we are talking about Consumer Users but you still want to manage them centrally in one Organization Unit in the AD. The Provisioning mechanism does it all automatically. Completely Secure and Isolated. Needles to say that the Provision action completed successfully at the Org level.
Next step, select a previous or fresh created user and assign a service like Hosted E-Mail. This is the fun part, remember services are billable 😉
The user gets a plan (remember your Business offer?) and that plan can only include e-mail facility’s in this release. In future release you can expect exiting things like UM, Voip, Voice Mail, and so on.
Yes, we are in business so lets connect to the new Outlook Web Access of Exchange 2007. This reminds me that it may be of interest to you how we setup our HMC 4.0 Lab environment. I will post the architecture in a visio, I promise ;-).
For now doesn’t this looks cool to you?
Logged on to the new Exchange 2007 Outlook Web Access. Pay attention to the language settings. In previous Exchange releases once you had logged on in a certian language you were stuck with it. Now . . . . .
Just select options, pick the language of your choice, apply, and . . .
Yep, it changed 😉
Long story but well worth it.